If you are considering selling or trading in your vehicle in order to purchase a newer, better car, one of the most important steps is for you to determine a price for your vehicle. Too often, car owners overvalue their vehicles, making them difficult or impossible to sell, so whether your overvaluation is the result of emotional attachment or simply financial motives, understand that an overvaluation can have a severely negative impact on the sale process and should be avoided.
By the same token, an undervaluation can be just as damaging. If you sell your vehicle for too little money, then you’ll be cheating yourself out of a fair price. When deciding how to decide on a price for your vehicle or if you just want more information about how most individuals and car dealerships go about performing valuations, consider the following points:
The Vehicle’s Condition
Probably one of the most important factors impacting price, your vehicle’s condition could mean the difference between receiving enough money at trade in to cover half the price of your new car and barely receiving enough money to cover gas for the ride home. Your vehicle’s interior cleanliness, its mileage, how much maintenance it needs to pass inspection or to be in top shape, and its outward appearance (rust, scratches, etc.) are all examples of factors that help to determine its condition. Pages three and four of this article give you more of an idea of how to value your car by providing an outline of the characteristics of five star, four star, three star, two star, and one star vehicles.
What the Internet Says It’s Worth
The Internet is a valuable resource for determining the value of your used car. Two websites are particularly useful for this: Kelly Blue Book at kbb.com and Edmunds.com. Both websites provide a wealth of information on the worth of used cars based on make, model, year, condition, and other important factors. In fact, these two websites are so famous and so widely used that many car dealerships use Kelly Blue Book and Edmund’s to determine the retail prices for the used vehicles on their lot. Beware, however, that in many cases, Kelly Blue Book and Edmund’s provide different retail prices for two identical vehicles. In the event that these prices vary significantly, don’t just decide to price your vehicle at the higher amount because you could be setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, experts advise that the price of your vehicle be determined by simply taking the average of these two prices, as this helps to set a fairer price point.
It’s also often a good idea to check local online classified listings like Craigslist and other such sites to see what similar cars have sold for in your area. Although it can be extremely difficult to use this as a way to determine an exact price (because it’s impossible to tell exactly how similar your car is to those that are listed), it can help you get a general idea. Remember, if a car seems overpriced on one of these sites, it probably is. And if it has been listed and relisted over and over again, then take that as a sign: People in your area just aren’t willing to purchase that car at that price.
Three Different Values
When valuing your vehicle, remember that websites like kbb.com and Edmunds.com provide you with three separate prices. Understanding these prices is crucial because as much as you might like to, you cannot simply take the highest price and pretend that that is a fair value for your vehicle. The prices and their explanations are as follows:
- Trade-in Price: This is what a dealer will likely pay you for your vehicle. This is nearly always the lowest of the three prices.
- Private seller price: This is the price that you can expect your vehicle to fetch if you sell it privately and negotiate a price with another individual.
- Retail price: This is the price at which a car dealer would hope to sell your vehicle. Most individual sellers have little hope of achieving this price in a privately negotiated sale because dealers often include extras in this price, such as warranties, that serve to justify this cost.
If you live in the York county, Pennsylvania area and are interested in selling your used car, van or truck, stop by Thornton Chevrolet (located in Manchester, PA – just north of York) for a free price quote on how much they would pay if they purchased your vehicle. Thornton Chevy (along with Brookside Motors in Dover and Manchester Motors) purchased used cars with no further obligation on your part.